Annual collection of school supplies begins

Tools for Schools is a program organized by Family & Community Support Services (FCSS)

Tools for Schools is a program organized by Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) that gathers school supplies for kids both in and outside of Lacombe.

Each year, monetary donations are combined with donations of binders, markers and more to complete customized backpacks for kids based on their gender, interests, grade and school.

“Every child’s backpack is geared to their gender, their age and the school that they’re in. So, if you are a Grade 4 boy, you’re going to get a Ninja Turtle backpack. I shop for the kids that I know are applying. It’s not a generic backpack that they’re not going to love,” said Jan Pocock, volunteer services coordinator at FCSS Lacombe.

“The first day of school is very exciting for children. They can’t wait to see their new teacher and see their friends. They want new markers and crayons because (that feeling) is so exciting for them. We want every child in our community to feel that.”

The program helps out children not just in Lacombe, but reaches out to schools in Alix, Clive, Blackfalds and even Satinwood.

Supplies are gathered for all ages, from Grade 1-12. Coin collection jars will be set up in businesses around Lacombe as well as some outlying communities.

There will also be collection boxes for new, unopened and unused school supplies in various businesses. Monetary donations can be dropped into the coin boxes, however, donations of $10 or more dropped off at the FCSS office will receive a charitable tax receipt.

Each backpack is filled with special thought that is personal to the needs of each student.

“We are able to use money the most, because then I can buy what is needed. Donations are great, and I’m very thankful. But if people are wondering, monetary donations are the most helpful.”

The personalization of each backpack gives the program a personal touch for the families that are in need of the service.

“We had a little girl last year with a Minnie backpack, and she was just so happy. There was a little boy with an Angry Birds backpack and thought he just had the world. Things like that are beautiful,” said Pocock.

School supplies that are in high demand are heavy duty, three-ring binders, Crayola markers in all shapes and sizes and headphones with an attached microphone.

Schools are making a shift towards more online and computer-based programs, which requires headphones to eliminate the stress for teachers of working with 25 or more children in a lab with sound coming from each device.

Everything from good quality scissors to glue, tape and tissues are welcome. Pencils, both mechanical and regular style, are also in high demand. Blue and red pens are items common on almost every class list, as are enclosed pencil sharpeners and erasers.

“Families come in and apply. They have the child’s name, what school, what grade, the gender. Then I go onto the school’s web site, find their supply lists and make a little card and then I start shopping for them,” said Pocock.

“If there are any supplies that they don’t need – maybe they have a really great binder from the year before that you can use again – they write that down and then I don’t get them one. Families that use this service are really good about that.”

The program is entirely community driven, meaning it depends on the support and donations of the Lacombe community and surrounding area to access the goods.

“Every child deserves to be equal to the next child. The message is not a pity-party for the less fortunate, it’s allowing each child to feel confident and equal to the child from the family who may have been able to buy all of it on their own.”

The program will accept donations until Aug. 25th. To donate or apply for the service, contact Jan at Lacombe & District FCSS at 403-782-6637.


Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

Most Read